U.N. tweets out controversial graphic, drawing protest from Taipei - Focus Taiwan

U.N. tweets out controversial graphic, drawing protest from Taipei

Image taken from United Nations Twitter
Image taken from United Nations Twitter

Taipei, Aug. 11 (CNA) A day after a United Nations organization deleted a graphic Taiwan's government found inappropriate, the U.N. again tweeted the same controversial image on its official Twitter account, prompting another protest from Taiwan.

In Sunday's tweet, the U.N. posted a graphic of flags of countries that recognize same-sex marriages, the same graphic that the organization U.N. Women first posted on its Facebook page on Aug. 4 before removing it as of Saturday.

It was accompanied by a message reading: "More than 1/3 of the world's countries criminalize same-sex relationships. All people should be able to choose their partners freely in #FamiliesOfToday."

The flag of the Republic of China (ROC), the official name of Taiwan, appeared in the graphic, but the name that went with it was "Taiwan Province of China," the name the U.N. officially uses to describe Taiwan, which is not a member of the international body.

"With regards to the tweet by the U.N. on its official Twitter account...that improperly identified our country's name, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses its protest and condemnation in the strongest terms," the ministry said in a statement Sunday.

The ministry has instructed Taiwan's representative office in New York to deal with the U.N. on this matter through all channels and means and demand a correction, the statement said.

Taiwan's achievement on marriage equality has nothing to do with China, which is an authoritarian country that frequently violates human rights, the ministry said.

The reason why Taiwan was able to become the first Asian nation to achieve marriage equality and why its citizens can discuss the topic openly and rationally is because of its democratic system and its respect for human rights, according to the ministry.

The statement slammed the U.N. for giving undue favor to China and politicizing a human rights issue, while also calling on the U.N. to stop misinterpreting U.N. General Assembly Resolution 2758 and cease using it as a tool to downgrade Taiwan's international status.

The resolution was passed in 1971 and recognized Beijing as the only legitimate representative of China and removing the Republic of China (Taiwan's official name) from the body.

It has been used by the U.N. as justification for calling Taiwan a part of China.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) tweeted his discontent with the U.N.'s tweet.

"U.N. screws up again! Taiwan isn't a province of China," Wu said. "Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage, not China."

Wu noted that same-sex marriage is criminalized and human rights and religious freedom are suppressed in China.

Beyond recent posts, U.N. Women has regularly stuck to the official U.N. nomenclature for Taiwan when writing about the issue.

A U.N. Women report that came out in June called Progress of the World's Women 2019-2020 referred, for example, to the ruling in May 2017 by the "constitutional court in Taiwan Province of China" that laid the groundwork for Taiwan's legislation allowing same-sex marriage.

It also used the "Taiwan Province of China" name in a table showing the same information on countries that have approved same-sex marriage as the controversial graphic.

(By Emerson Lim)


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